School board considers utilities partnership

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 26, 2011

By Sarah Campbell
The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education will consider partnering with Salisbury-Rowan Utilities to construct a new lift station near West Rowan Middle School during its meeting Monday.
The more than $1.7 million project will cost the district $200,000. The remaining funds will come from Magna Composites and the utility company.
Magna is expected to contribute $200,000 and Salisbury-Rowan Utilities will pitch in the remaining $1.3 million, about $600,000 of which is from grant funding.
The new lift station, which will be constructed adjacent to the current one at West Middle, will pump wastewater to the Athens West subdivisionís lift station, which then sends the wastewater to be treated to the Grant Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.
It will be more efficient than the existing lift station, which is costing the district about $35,000 a year in maintenance and upkeep.
After the station is complete, Rowan-Salisbury Utilities will resume liability associated with operating the facility, relieving the district of the obligation.
The school system would have to budget the $200,000 in its 2012-13 capital outlay budget if it decides to pursue the project.
The school board will also hear about the progress of the proposed consolidated central office during Monday’s meeting.
The 62,000 square-foot facility would be built in downtown Salisbury.
The district is currently operating out of five different administrative offices. Existing structures need about $2 million in repairs.
The latest plan, which would mean a lease-purchase agreement with a private developer, has been met with some opposition from the community.
The school board will also:
Hear a presentation of the 2010-11 financial audit done by Dixon Hughes Goodman;
Receive an overview of the districtís new ěReading Mattersî initiative, which is set to kick off Tuesday;
Discuss a plan to offer incentive pay at Henderson Independent High School;
Receive an update on testing changes; and
Hear about the upcoming matching funds projects.
The school board meets at 5 p.m. at the Long Street Administrative Office, 110 S. Long St. in East Spencer.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.